Some Six Flags parks that take an eternity to open new rides (cough: Magic Mountain: cough). Through ice and snow, whether it be an RMC conversion or flat, Six Flags New England always seems to get their new additions open around Memorial Day. Like clockwork, Cyborg opened on May 25.
However, I didn’t find myself at Six Flags New England until a month later. Yukon Striker, Holiwood Nights, and Toy Story 4 took precedent.
From the park that has two boomerangs and two frisbees comes Cyborg, an indoor, next generation Chance wipeout placed next to another Chance wipeout (Kryptonite Kollider).
Why are we queuing on the midway? More on that in a bit.
The addition is even funnier if you know a little bit about SFNE’s history. Kryptonite Kollider used to run inside Cyborg’s building as Joker’s Wildcard. If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
Thankfully SFNE learned from the sins of their past. Fire code has long been a thorn in SFNE’s side. It’s the rumored reason why Joker’s Wildcard was moved outside and why we have Gotham City Gauntlet instead of Mexico’s Dark Knight coaster. But Cyborg is good to go.
The fact that Joker’s Wildcard never had air-conditioning must have been a cruel joke from the Clown Prince of Crime himself. For that reason, I was ecstatic it was added for Cyborg. But then I saw the queue set-up.
Cyborg has a well-themed, air-conditioned queue. However, you barely spend any time in there. SFNE set the building’s entrance as the merge point for Flash Pass/ADA access. So despite the fact the indoor queue could easily hold 3+ cycles of riders, the park has a temporary queue set-up on the midway under the hot sun.
Theming and AC makes the indoor queue quite nice.
The ride itself was solid. At is max height, Cyborg gives 1-2 small pops of air. And at the end of the ride, Cyborg hits its max speed…however, it only does this for one rotation.
That’s my biggest gripe with Cyborg- the cycle. It’s laughably short. I think the ride is at its max height for a total of 10-15 seconds. I’m optimistic they’ll lengthen it once Cyborg’s hype dies down.
The effects are nothing special (lighting, tv monitors, and audio), but it does elevate an otherwise basic flat. I just wish the audio was a bit louder since it was near impossible to hear over the ride. This is another thing I’d love to see SFNE tweak.
So in a nutshell, Cyborg is a nice addition. It’s already one of the park’s stronger flats and I think it has the potential to improve. 7 out of 10
Wow I think that may be the longest review of all time for a flat ride.
I'm really impressed SFNE went the extra mile for this flat.
The star of the park is still Superman. SFNE put new wheels on Superman earlier this year. This resulted in Superman running faster in April than I can remember. Since Superman notoriously speeds up in the summer, I was intrigued to see just how fast it would be running on a hot day.
It was no faster.
On one hand, I was a bit disappointed Superman wasn’t any faster. On the other hand, I’m thrilled SFNE found a way to have Superman run in peak form year-round. I’m sure it’d run great in December now…
Superman’s layout is perfection. The first half consists of camelbacks loaded with sustained ejector. The second half then morphs into a twister alternating between high-G helices and quick pops of ejector air.
Yes the restraints are still the ride’s kryptonite, but Superman is able to overcome them and deliver an outstanding ride, particularly in the front row. 9.5 out of 10
Superman was running loud and proud.
I'm so lucky to have this coaster nearby.
Meanwhile Wicked Cyclone was in the midst of its annual summer slump. Wicked Cyclone joins Great Adventure’s Batman as the only two rides I’ve ever seen that run better in the cold. It defies all logic.
At its best, Wicked Cyclone is a middle-of-the-road RMC. It’s an aggressive barrage of airtime and hangtime. At its worst, Wicked Cyclone is arguably the worst RMC. That’s still a fantastic coaster though.
It’s still glass-smooth. And you still get a ton of ejector air until the last lap. At that point, it feels like Wicked Cyclone will valley. But rest assured, it won’t. That job belongs to Flashback and Goliath. 9 out of 10
A wicked storm is coming.
When Wicked Cyclone runs slow, the already amazing hangtime gets even better.
It may be crawling like a baby, but it still has air.
I’m glad I rode the New England Sky Screamer since it has been closed the past two visits. I go back and forth whether this or Harley Quinn is my favorite flat ride in the park.
Harley Quinn is a tantalizing combo of airtime and positive Gs, but there’s just something about spinning like a top 400 feet in the air on such small chains. That’s especially the case when you ride Sky Screamer on a windy day and dance like a marionette. 9 out of 10
According to SFNE, this is still the world's tallest swing ride. I guess the one in Orlando doesn't count lol.
I also got my first ride of the year on Pandemonium. Using the good ole, unmarked single rider line, I boarded in less than a minute. And I got my dream pairing- two small kids and an adult.
As expected, we spun like crazy. It’s the perfect family coaster. 7 out of 10
I so wish this coaster existed before I hit the magic 48-inch mark.
I also took a lap on Thunderbolt Thunder Blues. Here in Boston, we took the Bruins loss hard. We’ve grown accustomed to winning everything. At least we have our Red Sox and Patriots titles to fall back on.
Thunder Blues was like the Bruins season. It was mostly positive (pops of air on most hills), but it was also bumpy at points (specifically in the valleys). 6 out of 10
At first glance you may think Six Flags needs to replace some bulbs, but this was a clever touch.
I didn't ride Harley Quinn this visit, but it sure does look incredible at night.
Who needs Christmas lights when you have Harley Quinn?
It’s actually surprising it took me until the end of June to make my second visit of the year to SFNE. It’s not surprising that I had still yet to ride Goliath this year.
I saved Goliath for my next trip. And when I say saved, I mean that there was some parallel universe where Goliath operated while every other headliner crapped the bed.
I have to take a picture every time I see it running just to make sure I'm not having a nightmare.
I don't think they'll ever get the T-bars back, but I'd love to see Intamin's newer lap bar they've been using on coasters in Europe like Taron and Red Force. But considering the ride is still the headliner, I have a feeling it'll be a while before we see them invest in all new trains.
that flash pass merge point on Cyborg sure is familiar! it's the same issue I have with SFFT: they spent all that time and effort making an "almost Disney Level" queue for Pirates of the Deep Sea.
and then made the merge point the building entrance - so any line at all, ends up outside in the Texas heat. and when they let the next batch of people in (since no Flash pass folks showed up), you rush thru the entire queue and walk right onto the ride, bypassing all the wonderful theming they did.
^ I understand when an older ride has a skip-the-line pass added later like Space Mountain or Indiana Jones, but it's surprising when it happens on a new ride. That being said, both Cyborg and Pirates reused another building so I guess they made the best of the situation.
I still find it funny that we're asking to spend more time in a queue line.
It was one of the hottest days of the year. When I set foot into my car, I thought I was going to melt. I flipped on the radio and heard the familiar jingle:
“When the sun is blazing and the summer gets hot, Water Country’s a very cool spot.”
Except I wouldn’t make it there before they closed. The same could be said about Funtown, Lake Compounce, or Six Flags. But I could make it to Canobie to experience their new for 2018 2019 water park, Castaway Island.
It was the perfect day to check out Canobie's new...wait what does that sign say?
Son of a biscuit.
I was stunned Canobie would close their water park so early. They always kept their water play structure open until 6. After consulting the website, it got even more perplexing.
WTF? We aren’t a bunch of Floridians. We are New Englanders. We risk frostbite every year watching the Patriots in the playoffs. If sunny and 81 degrees is inclement weather, I guess global warming is real.
For reference, here was the weather.
The world wasn’t ending. In actuality, Castaway Island was closed for a private function. Apparently the park’s website had no other way to notify guests the water park would be closed they issued a weather alert “that wasn’t necessarily a weather alert”. No seriously. Reread the text description in the above photo.
So Castaway Island will have to wait another visit. Considering it was delayed all of last year, I think I can wait another month.
It's small, but it sure does look nice.
As a consolation prize, I took a lap on the Policy Pond Log Flume. This is still one of the best traditional flumes around. It has a good layout, some mini drops, a great final plunge, and the perfect amount of wetness.
Speaking of wetness, that holds true even if a guest drops a quarter. Canobie is too mainstream for water cannons. Instead, they hide sprayers. Last year, I was hit by one in the teepee tunnel. This year, I learned one of the overhead lights was turned into a shower. Well played Canobie.
I had noticed the park chopping down a lot of trees around the flume in recent years. I'm glad to say the park has started to plant new trees along the course. The wooded setting really helps make the ride. 9 out of 10
Can you find the water effect in this photo?
It looks like they're planting a tree for every one they chopped down.
Up next was my annual ride on the Corkscrew. But this trip was different. For 20 years, I have walked across railroad tracks en route to the main entrance. Not in 2019. No, I walked over your garden variety, asphalt pathway.
Long story short, the park rerouted their train ride to accommodate Castaway Island so the train no longer passes in front of the Corkscrew.
As for the Corkscrew, it was decent. Per usual, I rode in the back to get some air on the drop and the ride was smooth outside of the first turnaround (granted that’s like a quarter of the ride). 5 out of 10
The Corkscrew thankfully didn't do a lot of screwing.
Speaking of the train, here's the sexy new station by the water.
As more parks rip out their rotors, my love of the Turkish Twist increases. Not only is it one of the last examples of a dying breed, but it is also the best rotor I’ve ridden by far.
The Gs on this thing are ridiculous. Yes it’s short, but I totally understand why since it’s already too much for people. If this were Roller Coaster Tycoon, I’d position a handyman by the exit 24/7. 9 out of 10
The Turkish Twist is a delight.
Up next was the crowd barometer, the Yankee Cannonball. The coaster regularly has a full queue even on a random summer weekday. So I was stunned to see it was only 1-2 switchbacks deep all night.
Luck was truly on my side since I got two front row rides. I still prefer the back, but I won’t shoot a gift horse in the mouth. For those unfamiliar, Canobie counts off exactly 18 riders into a holding area. It is then first-come, first-serve for seats. And you are not allowed to wait an extra cycle.
I’ve ridden the Yankee Cannonball just over a hundred times and I think I can still count on one hand how many front row rides I’ve taken on it. In the front, the coaster has tiny pops of air on most hills except for the start of the return trip. Dang you GCI and your reprofiling!
In the back, the Yankee Cannonball has less instances of airtime, but they’re more powerful. The best parts are on the final turnaround and the first drop. And it’s glass smooth too, a remarkable feat for a 90 year old ride. 7 out of 10
I'm pretty sure I can recite this sign verbatim after all these years.
The only thing more disappointing than Castaway Island closing early was Star Blaster. I really hope I caught Star Blaster on a bad day because it made a mini Moser tower look like Zumanjaro.
New for 2019 were seatbelts. And nobody knew they were there. I wish the park went all Cedar Point and announced “seatbelts first, lap bars second” because everyone blindly lowered their restraints. This resulted in the operators constantly having to unlock the restraints. Needless to say, loading was glacial.
But the real disappointment was the ride. The launch audio wasn’t synchronized, the launch was lifeless, and there was absolutely no airtime (the belts weren’t the issue). 2 out of 10
If you look closely, you can see the new seatbelts that go across your waist.
Thankfully I got my airtime fix from Untamed. Like all Eurofighters, that first drop delivers a powerful burst of air. There’s also some decent hangtime in the loop and barrel roll.
Now you do need to lean forwards though. The ride has some rough transitions on the cutback and helix. Failure to prepare for these moments will end in pain. 6.5 out of 10
I had about an hour left, so I scurried across the park to ride Mine of Lost Souls. Canobie veterans know to hit this ride at the end of the night. Midday, it often has a 30-60 minute wait. At night, it’s more dead than the ghosts on the ride.
Outside of backlit text in the opening hallway, the ride was its usual WTF. Somehow this mine in New Hampshire leads to Egypt and a date with the Grim Reaper. If you’re confused, join the club. That’s the Mine of Lost Souls for you. 7 out of 10
Enter if you dare.
After the crazy short cycle on Cyborg, I felt compelled to ride Wipeout. Canobie only runs the ride in one direction (protein spills were common back in the day), but they run it for quite some time. And it’s run fast enough to deliver some tiny pops of air and borderline painful lats at the end. 8 out of 10
It was now 8:20, so I made my way to the Yankee Cannonball. The park diligently closes the queue a half hour before closing on busy days. On slow days, they have a trigger-happy employee by the entrance who closes the queue without any warning.
They closed the queue at 8:45. When the employees realized they only had 2 trains left, they channeled their inner Six Flags and slowed to a crawl. We even heard them laugh and say, “Make sure you really take your time checking restraints.”
It was only funny for me because I was on that last train.
It's not cold. I was just too lazy to put my new hoodie in the car.
Without a doubt, I’ll be back at Canobie a few more times this summer. Along with rerides on my favorites, I finally want to experience the water park that has been teasing me for a year now.
There’s also another new attraction under construction, a double decker carousel. Canobie must have caught SFNE-itis since this will be their third carousel. But the rendering sure does look nice!
No clue if this is for 2019 or 2020. Canobie has a history of opening flats late in the year.
Here's the construction site as of late June.
Canobie is a wonderful home park. It really is a charming place that always puts a smile on my face. Most people clamor for new rides. I just dream of the day when Canobie offers a season pass.
Remember, it's a crime to text and drive. Even on Antique Cars.
Me- “What if I told you I visited Six Flags New England and didn’t ride Superman or Wicked Cyclone?”
Friend- “Holiday in the Park?”
Me- “True. But what if I told you I visited Six Flags New England and only rode Goliath?”
Friend- “You need to enter the NFL’s concussion protocol.”
It sounds like a nightmare. It sounds like some sort of sick joke. But it was real.
Springfield was our meeting place to carpool up to Lake George. Since I arrived an hour early, I figured that was just enough time to squeeze in a quick ride on Superman.
I made my way towards Superman. With its new wheels, Superman has been squealing like a baby pig. But it was eerily quiet. Was it closed?
I was hopeful the park was practicing its 10 minute dispatches. That’s probably the only time I’ll ever utter such a phrase. Plus I knew it was unlikely since Superman usually has the best crew in the park. But no, Superman was parked on the lift. Normally I’d wait it out, but I didn’t have time.
Superman was taking its typical afternoon nap.
So I hightailed it over to Wicked Cyclone. While it wouldn’t quite beat a front row ride on Superman, it’s darn close. More like darn closed.
Of course Wicked Cyclone was also closed.
The weather forecast was calm and not calling for any wicked cyclones.
Since I was in the area I figured I might as well ride the New England SkyScreamer at sunset. I’ve ridden it during the day, night, cold, wind, but never during sunset. The views would be stunning.
Too bad 24 invisible riders were getting the longest ride of their lives. If you couldn’t read through the sarcasm, it was also closed. The gondola was parked atop the tower.
I hope those ghosts enjoy the view.
At this point, I probably should have admitted defeat. But then I realized I was in a parallel universe.
Superman, Wicked Cyclone, SkyScreamer, and god knows what else were all closed, but Goliath was somehow running. Yes freaking Goliath. The ride that takes 7 month vacations and calls in sick more often than not was open.
What are the odds Goliath would be open and the other rides would be closed?
With each ride on Goliath, my opinion has soured.
- In its first two seasons, the ride was fantastic with the original Vekoma trains.
- In its third and fourth seasons, I defended the new train. While others bashed it, I had yet to experience a ride I would call rough or uncomfortable.
- In its fifth season, I finally got a rough ride in the middle of the train.
- In its sixth season, it was rough everywhere but the front and back.
- In its seventh season, it was rough everywhere but the front.
I felt like I was walking to my own grave, but by some miracle I was awarded the front row. The first drop was pure bliss. Even in a park with an Intamin hyper and an RMC, it’s my favorite drop in the park.
But then the pain began. It was a brutal concoction of headbanging, back slaps, and ball pinching. I’ve now been converted. I now see the light. This ride is bad.
In its eighth season, Goliath is rough everywhere. David may have beaten Goliath in the Bible, but this Goliath was beaten by the new trains. While enthusiasts seem to share similar sentiments, the ride seems to remain quite popular with other guests. 2 out of 10
I decided to commemorate my experience. There was no on-ride photo, but I least I have this beauty from the clearance section of the gift shop. Maybe that's a sign.
Since SFNE is one of my home parks and it was en route to my final destination, I found the whole experience laughable. Superman and Wicked Cyclone probably were just temporarily closed, so I was just unlucky. No big deal since I go there so often.
Plus I was able to console myself with Nicky’s Pizza. Anyone who buys the $40-50 large cheese pizza at Six Flags should be forced to stare at this pizza for eternity. Four grown, ravenous adults couldn’t finish it. And it was only $20-25.
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